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Peterborough MP responds to Sue Ryder suspension risk

Sue Ryder, the national healthcare charity, is in critical need of PPE and might have to suspend operations and transfer patients to hospital if they don't receive help imminently.
thumbnail_Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough
Sue Ryder Hospice in urgent need of PPE or could risk closing service

The charity employees over 1000 doctors and nurses at its palliative care sites, looking after dying people across the country. 

Locally, it runs Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, the only specialist palliative care inpatient unit in Peterborough. 

It has however put out a plea requesting more protective equipment immediately, or it could have to suspend its operations for safety reasons. This means the patients will have to be moved to hospitals, adding to the burden for the NHS.

Recently, Sue Ryder was purchasing PPE through private companies, however, the quality and efficiency of the products, is not up to the mark. 

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We are already providing palliative care for patients with coronavirus symptoms in our hospices and hospice at home services across the country. 

"As a result of the Coronavirus, Sue Ryder is expecting a continued increase in people needing end-of-life care in the coming weeks and months however our PPE stocks are dangerously low. Without an immediate and continuous supply, patients will be transferred to hospitals which will put additional strain on the NHS. 

"Immediate action from the Government is needed in order to enable us to continue to care for our patients who are dying and support the NHS. 

"Sue Ryder is a willing participant in the Coronavirus effort - we want to use our skills, expertise and experience to help in the months ahead - but this will simply not be possible if we cannot access the equipment needed." 

One of Sue Ryder's Hospice Directors has written an emotional statement, urging for help: "I have worked in healthcare as a nurse and a leader for many years and never experienced anything like this.  

"I never know when the next batch of supplies are coming, or what will be in that batch, I never know what the day will bring. We can go from no cases of coronavirus to three within a few hours. To see a young nurse with tears in her eyes above her mask is heart wrenching. 

"As the hospice director I have a responsibility to keep patients, staff and visitors safe and without adequate PPE that is not possible. 

"We provide PPE for visitors when it is needed but this further depletes our supplies. We are doing everything we can to lessen the footfall, so visiting is restricted to one visitor when someone is at the end of their life. 

"I had to watch a grown man cry as he left the hospice not knowing when he would see his mother again." 

Here in Peterborough,the Thorpe Hall Hospice has raised these concerns with the local MP, Paul Bristow, who has been supportive, raising their concerns locally and nationally. 

In a statement sent to Peterborough Matters, Paul said: "I have been in touch with Sue Ryder nationally and the Thorpe Hall Hospice locally since the emergency started. I have lobbied ministers on funding which has led to the £200 million package for hospices, and on PPE.  

"Today I have spoken with the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Local Resilience Forum headed up by the council Chief Executive and the Clinical Commissioning Group.  I am assured that this issue will be dealt with and the right PPE will be available. 

"Volunteers and staff at the hospice deserve no less."

Earlier, the healthcare charity launched an emergency appeal, asking for donations to help keep the service open.

Coronavirus has had a significant impact on a number of charities including Sue Ryder. Due to the lockdown most of the fundraising events have been cancelled, putting financial burden on it. It has now appealed for people to come forward and help them stay open for the people in need.

People can find more information on how to make donations on their website.